Voting woes

MPR is keeping track of reports of voting problems. The phone number is:

1-877-678-NEWS

According to early phone calls, a fire alarm went off in Frogtown and “things got heated” when a voter refused to leave until she voted.

A scanning machine broke down in Kasson. Our correspondent says an election judge said they would hand count. He asked if the machine would get fixed, and the woman said, “I hope so.”

And in Bloomington Precinct #13, a gentleman reported he check a half-dozen times to make sure he was registered, but when he showed up today — the same place he voted in 2006 without a problem — he wasn’t on the list. He had to register again as a new voter.

We’re also hearing that the Secretary of State’s Web site is loading very slowly. People may be going there to find out where they should vote. You can find that information here, and it will also build a customized election results page for you when you come back tonight. No waiting!

For a set of tools to assist you on this Election Day, please spend some time browsing our Campaign 2008 Web site.

update 9:33 a.m. A power outage in St. Paul has affected two polling places: Maxfield School and Dunning Rec Center. A Ramsey County official says voters should continue to go to those polling locations to cast their ballot, which will be placed in the machines’ emergency ballot holders. If those fill up the ballots will be removed and placed will put in banker’s box and sealed. Once power is restored, judges will feed ballots through the machine and the process will be monitored by a representative from each party.

  • What a thoroughly enjoyable process early morning voting was in the Powderhorn district today! The people in line (and the line was LONG!) were happy to be there, and I didn’t see anyone leave. We all stuck it out until they let us in.

    I was impressed by the professionalism of the polling volunteers. They gave frequent, useful instructions (the Powderhorn Park facility is home to two precincts voting centers this year, a change from years past), and big smiles.

    This is a big election. Be prepared to wait. It took nearly an hour, but it was so worth the wait!

    Go vote! Make a difference!

  • Janet Humphrey

    Interesting to note the huge lines at Selby and Lexington. I vote in a middle to upper-middle class precinct and things are going very smoothly. (Nativity Church – 2 precincts – Ward 8) One election worker told me they double-staffed these 2 precincts. Also, a new addition: 2 poll workers stationed outside to make sure people are in the correct polling place and to move them to the more convenient of the two doors for closer access to their correct room to vote in. Virtually no waiting at 8:15. I was voter number 378 and I assume the precinct in the next room was about the same.

    The old story of excellent service in a fairly prosperous part of the city and possibly less-so elsewhere. I hope everyone in Ramsey County can vote as easily and in as friendly atmosphere as I had in my precinct.

  • motoko

    The lines are definitely a bit longer than usual, but it’s great to see so many people out there voting. There were a lot of new voters registering at the polls too (St. Paul W-7, P-5). The whole process only took about an hour, so it wasn’t too bad.

    Some of the election judges were a little disorganized (and stressed I’m sure) trying to help the crowd move through the process, but overall things were moving smoothly. (One election judge seemed particularly overwhelmed at the crowd, as she was telling me that her last time as an election judge was at primarys a few years ago where she only registered two voters.)

  • Jane

    There was no wait at my polling place in Rochester around 8:15 today. Election judge reported that prior to opening, there was a long line waiting prior to 7am and over 100 people voted in the first hour. But I was able to vote right away, no wait. I thank all election judges and volunteers for making this such an easy process.

  • Blane Klemek

    My alarm clock went off at 5:45 this morning. At 6:45 my 13-year-old son and I left our rural home in northern Hubbard County so I could vote. Our destination was a short drive to the Lake Hattie Township Hall, my polling place.

    Though it wasn’t quite 7:00 a.m. when I arrived at the town hall, I was surprised to see there were no vehicles in the parking area. I suspected that the polls were not yet open, though I thought they were supposed to be open by 7:00 (my fault for not thoroughly checking).

    Indeed, the sign said 10:00 a.m., yet, only five miles away, the Fern Township Hall was open for voting. And another 15 miles further, Grant Valley Township Hall, in Beltrami County, was also open.

    Again, it was my fault for not checking, but I was disappointed that my polling place was not open when so many other nearby polling places (locations I am not registered to vote at) were open.

    Such is life.

  • There was a two-block line at 7:20 this morning at my polling place (Mpls W-6 P-4); took about 2 1/2 hours to get through the whole process. But everyone was in good spirits, and I didn’t see anyone wimp out and leave the line. Volunteers were out bringing coffee and cookies to people waiting in line, and somewhere behind me in line, someone had a guitar. I’m happy to live in an area with close to 90% turnout, even if it took a little longer than I’d expected to do my civic duty this morning.

  • Tonya

    I also had issues with thinking I was registered (through the DMV and when I caucused for the primaries), but both my husband and I were not on the list. Thank god for same day registration or we wouldn’t have gotten to vote!

  • motoko

    I had the same problem with registering through the DMV– I wasn’t on the list at the polls. It seems that registering when you renew your DL is not the way to actually get registered. In the future I won’t rely on that option when I move.

  • Alanna in MI

    I live in a small town in Upper Michigan, and there was no line for me. There were plenty of people there though. I went around 10:30 and I was voter 448. Not bad. My only disappointment was that they didn’t have any “I Voted” stickers.

  • bsimon

    We walked to our polling place, arriving at ten to seven. Four years ago we were voters 24&25 at that time, this year we were 90-something. Everything went smoothly. It was great to see so many folks out early & excited to participate.

  • Monique

    The line across the street from my office stretches so far around the block I can’t see the end! People apparently are waiting more than two hours to vote but not complaining. (Church ladies serving coffe & donuts inside!) Lot’s of car horns, cheering, and the occasional VOTE YES folks driving by with music blaring a bull horns cheering voters on. Circus-like, for sure, but so great to see!

  • mulad

    Heh, the story of the power outage — caused by a vehicle crashing into a power pole — has popped up in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald.